Tall story

In the Movies, Men Are Bigger Than Women Even When They Aren't

It's easy to argue that this archaic reverie is rooted in the human psyche. Sex is, after all, a matter of emotional expectations tied to physical facts. But if we're hardwired to see men as taller than women, why do we also need to see whites as taller than blacks? The answer suggests that fantasies of stature have less to do with the essentials of sexuality than with making social status seem sexy.

Of course, the ad with the conquering sailor and his adoring broad doesn't deal with race. In the world of retro, women exist to complement men—and black men don't exist at all. That's the ultimate whiteboy fantasy.

Research: Josh Lefkowitz

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